Our spy photographers caught the BMW M quad electric motor prototype on a flatbed truck, allowing us to take a better look at the styling details of what is essentially an all-electric M4, as it combines the body of an i4 with wide fenders, an M3/M4 face, and no less than four electric motors.
While the prototype is more of a testbed for new technologies rather than a preview of a future production model, it is interesting to see what BMW M designers and engineers came up with for this purpose. The camouflage-style livery does little to hide the bodywork that’s clearly based on the BMW i4.
Read: New BMW 3.0 CSL Is A Re-Bodied M4 With 553 HP And A Manual Gearbox
A closer look reveals that both the front and rear fenders are deliciously wider, while the front end is sourced directly from the M3/M4, including the bumper, grille, vented bonnet, and side gills. Actually, the grille comes from an M4 CSL with the emblem removed. The tail is less differentiated from the production i4 although some mechanical components on the rear axle are visible below the diffuser. The vehicle also has miss-matched wheels and gold brake calipers.
BMW M has revealed that their performance EV has a quad motor setup and a high-voltage battery although it didn’t say how much power it makes. Each wheel is controlled independently by a central control unit, part of a fully-variable M xDrive four-wheel-drive system. As a result, the prototype claims to offer an “unprecedented level of performance” and will introduce new capabilities, like the tank-turn donuts showcased in the teaser video through CGI. The suspension setup is also bespoke, borrowing front struts from the M3/M4.
Judging from the fact that the production BMW i4 M50 produces 536 hp (400 kW / 544 PS) and 586 lb-ft (795 Nm) of torque from dual electric motors, the quad setup of the prototype likely brings it closer to hypercar territory. Frank Van Meel, BMW M boss, previously said they will take a “crazy” direction with the next-gen M3 which will be either hybrid or fully electric, so this development vehicle could be an early sign of things to come.
The fact that the prototype had proper license plates means it is going to embark on public road testing in the coming weeks. We hope that the Bavarian company reveals more information about the performance EV, even in this experimental phase.
Image Credits: CarPix for CarScoops